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Bruins in Paris

UCLA gymnastics to celebrate 8 seniors in final regular meet of the season

Senior Chae Campbell pumps her fists after receiving a score at Pauley Pavilion (left). Graduate student Margzetta Frazier salutes the judges after her bars routine (right). (Julia Zhou/Photo Editor)

By Genevieve Trimbell

March 15, 2024 12:43 p.m.

Margzetta Frazier has already been honored at two senior ceremonies.

But the sixth-year Bruin said, in what will truly be her final senior night, the end of her NCAA gymnastics career will finally hit her.

“I know I’m going to be a complete mess on Saturday after the meet is over,” Frazier said. “It’s going to be so much fun.”

Frazier and seven other seniors will be honored as No. 11 UCLA gymnastics competes against Clemson in its final regular season competition of the 2024 campaign. In addition to senior recognition, the meet marks a chance for the Bruins to bounce back from their worst meet of the season.

Last week’s 196.300 against Arizona State was UCLA’s lowest score since 2022. A counted fall on beam led to the Sun Devils’ upset win.

Nearing must-win territory with the postseason approaching, senior Chae Campbell said the Bruins are channeling their energy into team unification.

“This week is just focusing on the unity and being together,” Campbell said. “We’re celebrating some seniors this meet, and I’m very hopeful after this week and the practices we’ve had.”

With Campbell and Frazier missing the floor lineups at various points in the season because of injury, junior Emma Malabuyo pursuing Olympic qualification in the World Cup circuit, and various injuries across the team, UCLA lineups have been fluctuating from week to week.

To compound the variability, sophomore Selena Harris, who is ranked No. 11 in the all-around, rested last week after she competed the all-around in every meet this season.

Coach Janelle McDonald said the continued absence of Campbell and Frazier, Harris’ rest last week, and an injury from sophomore Ciena Alipio have been challenging for the team.

“We’ve had a lot of people be able to have competition experience, which is going to be amazing for us moving forward,” McDonald said. “But I think when things change every single weekend, there is a lack of consistency in that, so I’m excited to see our lineup start to get smoothed out.”

In a season with such fluidity, veteran leadership is necessary – and with four true seniors and four super seniors, UCLA has plenty.

The super seniors have experienced two coaching changes in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic across their careers.

“The experiences they’ve had are so valuable because they’ve been through it all, and they’re able to share those experiences,” McDonald said. “That’s just really helped our overall culture.”

Campbell, who has one more year of eligibility and said she’s still evaluating if she will return, added that she is looking forward to celebrating the culmination of her four years at UCLA.

“I am a different person than who I was freshman year in the best way possible,” Campbell said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience I’ve had being at UCLA.”

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Genevieve Trimbell | Sports contributor
Trimbell is currently a contributor on the gymnastics and rowing beats.
Trimbell is currently a contributor on the gymnastics and rowing beats.
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